King's Dominion 3/29

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Tuesday, March 29, 2005 10:00 PM
Today I returned to King's Dominion for the first time in nearly two years. I live in North Carolina and am about four hours from K.D. and three hours from Carowinds. From my visits, I feel King's Dominion is slightly superior to Carowinds. Since I have already reviewed all the rides in my trip report two years ago, this one will be shorter.

My friends and I left the house at six and arrived at around ten. After presenting our $26 e-tickets, we proceeded to wait by the tower to go towards the Congo. At this point it was chilly and overcast, but the day turned out beautiful and warm after lunch.

At 10:30 we headed to the Congo and waited a second for the Volcano line to open up. When it did we waited about five minutes and I boarded the last row. Volcano was just as good as two years ago and the paint looked great, except for the spots that they missed or haven't finished yet. Luckily we rode this right away, it was down all afternoon and we couldn't get another ride. I don't know what happened, but one of the trains was stopped on the launch track...

After Volcano we hit the new Tomb Raider: Firefall with a five minute wait. I really love the floorless Top Spin because it is so much more comfy. We road reverse (meant to do forwards too, but wasn't up to it later in the day) and I enjoyed it quite a bit. The theming is nice, if not perfect and the fire and water effects are cool. The ride pattern was decent, two sets of nice flips (3, then five I believe). My only concern is that the ride always flips in one direction, maybe changing the pattern and including the "freefall" and some other stuff would be nice. Also, why does it take this thing SO long to dock, it goes back and forth for nearly a minute...

After this we road Flight of Fear, seemed a little jerkier in the back. Later we rode front and it was as good as I remembered it. I really enjoy this launched coaster (seeing as how the park should be King's Dominion of Launched Rides) and walk-on rides were a big plus.

Seeing Anaconda not running at this point (11:15) we headed to Shockwave in all its Togo glory. Last time it was decent, now it just sucks. For some reason the restraint really hit me wrong this time and the ride was no fun, but no surprise on that one.

Hypersonic XLC was next. After a fifteen minute wait I rode second row. Love the launch. The ride seems to go pretty slow over the top and the turns are a bit jerky, but still a great rush. Not sure how the brake change helped, but it does slow down fast.

Next was Hurler. All I have to say on this was that it was way better than Carowinds'. Didn't feel like lightin' a match under this one.

Drop Zone was operating at this point and we hit that with a minimal wait. Drop Zone gets me everytime and it was windy today, meaning cables snapping back and forth and a crazy trip up. Great drop, Intaimin rocks.

After this we went back to Anaconda and rode twice, the back was better and less jerky. This was the surprise of last trip and it still manages to be a nice ride. I love the setting and the colors, the trains are also "roomyish" for Arrow.

To make a long story short, we had a decent lunch at Bubba Gumps and then re-rode Hypersonic, rode Ricochet, re-rode F.O.F. and Anaconda, and experienced Avalanche and Rebel Yell.

Overall, the day was great but I was a bit disappointed with the ride availability. We did receive a flyer that said some rides would not be up due to a limited staff, but the lack of wooden coasters was upsetting. Only the forward side of Rebel Yell was going, and both it and Hurler had one train. I assume Grizzly is getting retracked or something, the sign said it would open later spring. Also, having Anaconda and Drop Zone open late and some downtime on Drop Zone and a closure of Volcano was not the best.

The staff was very friendly and mostly efficient today, I am sure the park will continue to improve as the season goes on. King's Dominion is a very nice park and I understand that some downtime is expected, hopefully that will also improve. The park has a nice array of coasters, a fun new ride, and should continue to thrill guests for years to come.

Quick ride grade sheet

Volcano: A- (fun as always, down in afternoon)

Flight of Fear: B+ (running wild today)

Tomb Raider: Firefall: B (better program would help)

Shockwave: C- (ugh...)

Hurler: B- (kind of slow)

Rebel Yell Forwards: B- (needs some work, only one train running today)

Ricochet: B- (not bad for a mouse)

Drop Zone: A (some downtime hurt its availability, great drop as always)

Anaconda: B+ (I'm a sucker for Arrows with twisty old loops)

Hypersonic XLC: B+ (wild launch, getting rougher)

Grizzly: CLOSED

Rebel Yell Reverse: CLOSED

Avalanche C+ (alright, just average) *** Edited 3/30/2005 3:03:03 AM UTC by Willh51*** *** Edited 3/30/2005 3:03:50 AM UTC by Willh51*** *** Edited 3/30/2005 3:06:47 AM UTC by Willh51***

Wednesday, March 30, 2005 2:00 AM
Wow, you thought PKD's Hurler was better than PCars? I love PCars, always ride it when I'm there (last year a couple times), but I could only stand one go on PKD's for the credit.

I also believe that PKD is slightly superior when compared to Carowinds, though I love Carowinds, but the Carolinians know how to maintain their wood. Too bad they don't have a defining woody like PKI and PKD have.

Regardless, if you really want to ride the best 'Hurler', get yourself to Kentucky...

Wednesday, March 30, 2005 2:04 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar I put Carowinds Hurler as my lowest rated woodie on Mitch's poll this past winter. (haven't ridden since 2003)

PKD's was better, but still wasn't good. (based on 2004)

I guess I'm not a big Hurler fan. :)

Wednesday, March 30, 2005 10:30 AM
Top Spins are great. Only problem I have with them is that they are a little brutal. Mid-America Shows's Top Spin hurt my shoulders.

John Moore

Thursday, March 31, 2005 1:29 AM
im Tekno, Thunder Run at SFKK is just unbelieveable. i got off after the first ride, and was shocked i had just ridden a summers/dinn....

glad u enjoyed my home park, ill be hittin it up in a couple weeks when i hit the last lull before finals, lol.

still trying to think of a good signature...

Thursday, March 31, 2005 6:51 AM
Grizzly was closed! I would have been furious.
Wednesday, April 6, 2005 12:57 AM
John Moore, than you would really love the new restraints on the suspended Top Spins. They're completely different (it's only a harness and a backup seatbelt), and VERY comfortable.

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